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DEFIANCE, Ohio - Coming off a 12-day layoff without a game, the Lakeland College men's basketball team dismissed any notion early Thursday that the break would have any ill effects.
The Muskies (6-2) enjoyed a great game from 3-point range and, coupled with a solid defensive effort, rolled past Trine University (6-4) in the opening game of the 37th annual Purple & Gold Tournament at Defiance College.
Lakeland tied an 18-year-old tournament record by making 16 3-point shots. The Muskies made six of their first nine shots from behind the arc to quickly set the tone. Junior Jake Schwarz made 5-for-7 from 3, finishing with 30 points and 13 rebounds.
Trine cut the Lakeland lead to eight at 49-41 in the second half, but senior Josh Regal scored nine straight points in 50 seconds, including a layup and free throw and two 3-pointers to put Lakeland ahead 58-41. The Muskies led by double digits the rest of the game.
Regal finished with 15 points (13 in the second half), 10 assists (eight in the first half) and five steals. Sophomore Justin Ward added 17 points and seven rebounds, and senior Jack Ridgway and freshman Joey Burris both scored nine each.
Lakeland advances to the tournament championship game on Friday night and will play host Defiance College, an 81-77 winner over Knox College in Thursday's other game. Defiance is coached by former Lakeland head coach Kyle Brumett. Live in-game updates will be available on Lakeland's athletic Facebook page and at the tournament website: http://www.defianceathletics.com/mbasketball/tournament11/.
Watch a video with Jake Schwarz's thoughts about the game here:
Watch a video with Josh Regal's thoughts here: